Saturday, September 13, 2008

Game Changers

This week Sarah Palin was called a game changer for the 'bump" she gave McCain in the election polls. Tom Brady of the Patriots is out for the season. That changes things for his 3-time Super Bowl winning team. I would call that a game changer too.

Christians come in many different flavors from Catholics to Word of Faith believers. We have a wide variety of potential experiences in the mainstream church. And within the churches believing in the triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), we have different theologies including Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic beliefs. Some find diversity in the church good, and others are looking for unity. There are others that are so certain of their own theology that they separate themselves from others. Some times it is hard to see that we have salvation in Jesus in common. Real faith is based on the relationship, not the religion.

What does all that have to do with game changers? Well, the church has had many game changers since the 1st century. A change from the practice of Jewish traditions, persecution by Jews and Gentiles, the writing of the New Testament letters, the advent of actual church buildings in the 3rd century, the rise of Catholicism, the selling of indulgences, the crusades, the Protestant Reformation, the Great Awakening, Azusa Street, the Charismatic Renewal, Toronto, Brownsville and loads of other revivals in nearly every country on earth. The church has seen some real game changers in two thousand years, don't you think?

The question I have it this, what will change the game for Christianity next? Will it be squabbling over theology a little more until no one will be in a church? Church attendance is on the decline, and I doubt that God is going to take the blame for it. Without prayer in schools, the Bible as a book in our educational curriculum's we have seen people who would normally have been taught about God, flocking to other places for their spirituality like AA (which is good for getting sober), horoscopes, tarot card readers, psychics and para-normal experts. Why? We want to see the supernatural because we are made to receive it as God's creation. We are supposed to connect with Him because He is a supernatural God! The problem is that we want to legislate God.

Imagine if you favorite sports team went out and did the same exact play every time they had the ball? And worse, they did it all season long! Can you imagine the outcome? Honestly, we get so used to seeing (or not seeing) God week-to-week, that we never change the play. We practice the definition of insanity-- doing the same thing over and over expecting different results? Are you kidding me? Most of the church could care less about church services proven by the amount of believing Christians that DO NOT attend services. And a load of others are bored to death with the same-old, same-old! We hire "savior pastors" to fill the pulpit, and allow enough lack of commitment to seep in that leaders are overburdened. Add to that so much control that we barely see the supernatural. Ask yourself this, why is it unbiblical to go to a tarot card reader? Then ask yourself why we won't let the spirit move in so many churches? Are we so afraid of being ambushed by a false prophet, that we do nothing? In the same way it is good for a man and woman to be married as a God ordained "place" for sexual relations, the church is to be the place for authentic supernatural occurrences.

I am not saying that we need to do something different to be different. What I am saying is how are we doing? If we say that Jesus saves, how many are saved? If we say that Jesus heals, how many are healed? If we say God is a God is love, how many are loved? We need to let God be God and start measuring success in terms of fruit, not nickels, noses and egos. What we need is Holy Spirit led ministry that is RELEVANT to those that are not attending regardless of the reason.

What is it going to take for the church to be mature enough to handle the manifestations of the Holy Spirit without blaming it on the devil, or quenching the Holy Spirit for fearful or selfish reasons? Paul never said to stop operating in the supernatural, he said to make sure that in all things, you participate in love. (Eph 4, 1 Cor 13, Gal 5)

1 Corinthians 13.1-3
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Ephesians 5:18 NAS
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit...

Now those are game changers! Does anyone want to play?

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails